You may be wondering if you should make an appointment to be tested for a sexually transmitted disease or you may be considering one for your partner. Perhaps you are merely curious, the presence of STDs is a very important health threat today and prior knowledge is the best preventative measure.
Whatever your reason for being here, this article will provide you with plenty of information on STD testing. Before we get into the facts and figures, there are a few things it is important to know about STD testing before being tested.
1. You must ask to be Tested — You can’t be coerced into this decision.
2. STD Testing is an easy and painless process, although it can take time — even a few weeks.
3. There are many different tests for a variety of STDs.
4. You don’t have to wait for obvious symptoms to be tested.
Why You Would Get Tested For STD’s
If you begin to develop an irregular itchiness or sores in the genitalia it is important to get tested right away. Other common symptoms of STD’s are burning during urination as well as discharge from the penis or vagina.
On the other hand, certain STD’s are not manifest with such obvious symptoms. There are many people who are carriers of STDs and don’t even know it. Furthermore, many people have spread STDs without ever presenting symptoms.
As a general rule in this day and age, if you have engaged in any variety of sexual activities without the protection of a condom, female condom or dental dam — or any other form of effective protection— it is a best practice and a responsible one, to have yourself tested for STDs.
This is not merely for health reasons, there is a certain measure of peace of mind when you know neither you nor your partner is in danger of infection. Then, there are many things to learn about practicing safer sex.
Getting Tested for STDs
Your health provider is one place to go for proper testing. It is important to be specific about the tests you need and understand that not all tests are the same.
Some people mistakenly assume that if they are getting tests done, any tests, STDs will be tested for as well, but this is not the way things work. For example, a woman getting a Pap test will not necessarily be tested for STDs neither will a man being given a physical or getting a urine sample checked.
If you are having certain tests done and are not sure if a STD can be tested at the same time, the best thing to do is ask. Your medical professional will be able to point you in the right direction and help you find the tests that you will need. Personally, I would recommend going to an STD center such as, the one from this link: std testing san antonio tx. However, I leave that up to you to decide what you want to do.
In addition to your regular healthcare provider, you can also visit a wide range of other facilities when seeking STD testing. These include clinics, health centers, health departments, private health care providers, among others.
Which STD Tests Should you Select?
There is no single test that will reveal the presence of all STDs, and there are many many STDs to check for. Specific tests must be used to find specific diseases. Some can only be found by using a series of tests, to verify the presence of a specific illness.
You must have a talk with your healthcare provider so they can help you to decide on which tests would be most appropriate for your situation. By asking some questions about the sexual activities you engage in as well as your overall sexual practices, they will help you narrow down the list of possibilities.
Following are some of the questions you may be asked to answer to help decide on the best tests for you.
-How many partners you currently have, or have had recently?
-What methods of STD protection do you apply to your sexual activities and how often? (Condoms, or other forms of barrier protection)
-Which body parts are most often in play in your sexual activities?
-What symptoms, if any, you have exhibited and how severe is the condition?
-Have you had any history of STDs? What symptoms did you have? How long ago?
-Have you ever used medications to treats STDs or their symptoms? (OTC, herbal or otherwise)
-Women, what was the date of your last period? (To rule out the possibility of being pregnant)
There will be other details and particulars about individual tests that will come to light as these questions are answered. Your medical care provider will able to explain your situation and how best it could be remedied from the medical perspective.
How STD Tests are Completed
Depending on the amount possible infections, a complete STD testing can include a few to many tests. Some infections require several tests to properly diagnose. Methods of testing include:
-Physical Examinations — The doctor will look for physical symptoms of STDs in areas most likely to be affected. The groin, genitals, mouth and anus may present a variety of symptoms like discharge, warts, lesions, inflammation and rash or combinations of more than one.
For women, this is examination is similar to the standard pelvic exam.
Blood Sample — Your provider may take a sample of blood as small as a drop from a pinprick or more with a syringe. Blood will be analyzed for presence of infection.
Urine Sample — Simple enough, I am sure. You will provide the provider with a urine sample in a special cup.
Saliva, Tissue, discharge Samples — Providers will use a swab to take a sample that can be examined in a laboratory to detect and identify bacterial/ biological menace.
In Closing — Diagnosis and Treatment
Some STDs present symptoms that are easily identified, others require weeks of testing. Treatment can be planned right away for those STDs that are quickly identified, for tests those that take longer a provider will discuss methods of addressing symptoms while results are confirmed.